RAN: BofA leads funding in dirty coal

Dec. 1, 2011 at 8:08 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Bank of America is the top financier of U.S. coal-fired power, which the Rainforest Action Network described as the world's top polluter.

A study from German, South African and African environmental organizations looked at banks financing the coal industry. They determined 93 of the world's leading banks spent $309 billion on coal-fired power since the greenhouse-gas limiting Kyoto Protocol went into force in 2005.

The survey concluded U.S. banks JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America are the top financiers of coal-fired power. Bank of America, the report said, led the way with $4.3 billion invested in the U.S. coal industry in the past two years.

Heffa Schuecking, an analyst at German environmental group urgewald, said the evidence that global climate change is on the rise is overwhelming, yet major financial institutions continue to finance the coal industry.

The Rainforest Action Network added that financing of the coal industry nearly doubled from 2005-10.

"Coal is a dirty, dangerous and increasingly outdated energy source," Amanda Starbuck, director of the energy and finance program at Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement.

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